Source: West Briton
"Rare images showing Cornish tin miners enduring treacherous conditions have surfaced.
The images were taken at Dolcoath mine in Camborne, East Pool in Redruth, Blue Hills in St Agnes and Cook’s Kitchen in Pool back in 1893.
The men can be seen drilling, climbing rickety ladders, propping up shafts with flimsy wooden poles and of course, tucking into pasties during a hard earned lunch break.
Photographer J.C Burrow’s, who was commissioned by Cornwall’s tin mine owners to showcase their technological advances, wrote an accompanying note stating his disappointment about how few of the images were of printable quality.
He said: “"It is a rather disheartening experience to find the results of a whole days work with an energetic band of helpers are not 'printable', but such experience was mine on more than one occasion.
"The work however is so full of interest, and its performance so productive of welcome enlightenment on many critical points, that I have no intention of allowing it to remain where it is.
"I hope that at no distant date, the present attempt may be followed by another and more successful one."
It is also believed that these photographs were some of the first images to have been snapped using flash photography.
Bookseller Michael Kemp said: "Mr Burrow was attempting to showcase the mining technology of his age, but in doing so he devised some pretty groundbreaking methods of his own.
"Using explosive materials in the open air would be challenging enough back in 1893, but to do it in the pitch dark confines of an underground mine shaft seems unthinkable.
"Evidently our late Victorian counterparts did not share our modern day obsession with health and safety."
A copy of Burrow's subsequent book is expected to fetch £2,250 at this year's PBFA London International Antiquarian Book Fair."
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